Label-Free Cell-Resolved Metabolomics for Tumor Microscopy


Year of Award:
2020
Status:
Active
Award Type:
R21
Project Number:
CA240214
RFA Number:
RFA-CA-19-019
Technology Track:
Molecular & Cellular Analysis Technologies
PI/Project Leader:
CICERONE, MARCUS T
Other PI or Project Leader:
Not Applicable
Institution:
GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Summary It is widely held that energy creation and use strategies employed by tumors may provide important diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities. However, tools to directly and microscopically visualize these strategies do not yet exist because most of the metabolites cannot be labeled for microscopy. This project uses recently developed a coherent Raman imaging method that can rapidly obtain molecular vibration signatures of these unlabeled metabolites, potentially making them visible. If the project is successful, it will yeild a microscope that will allow cancer researchers and clinicians to, for the first time, visualize metabolic activity in intact tumors, on a cell-by-cell basis, and should facilitate discovery of new therapies and diagnostics. Developing such an instrument presents significant challenges. The project will approach these in our first Aim by developing a detailed theoretical model of our imaging approach, and testing it against a simplified and well-controlled series of experimental tissue mimics. This dual model approach will allow us to discover the most effective path to realizing the necessary instrument sensitivity and reliability. In the second Aim we test the microscope in actual tissues and cell culture that is independently analyzed for content of metabolites measure by BCARS.